Tips to Make Moving Out for the First Time a Stress-Free Experience
Moving away from home can be one of the most stressful steps in young adulthood, but it can also be one of the most fun and exciting experiences. Finding your own home at university or anywhere else can bring freedom, independence and your first real taste of what it means to be an adult. Moving takes time and planning, but with a few simple tips, you can reduce the stress and/or anxiety of moving away from your family home and into your own place.
Be a Smart Packer
Packing is one of the most time-consuming, stressful steps in the moving process. Whether you’re moving away from home or your dorm, you will need to know how to pack and what to pack. To pack successfully, you should:
- Book a mover, moving van or ask your friends or family for help
- Take inventory of all your belongings
- Make a packing ‘to-do’ list
- Create a checklist of all the items you will need or all the items you’re going to take or leave behind
- Buy packing materials and other items you will need in your new home
- Sort your belongings by room or area and place them into ‘keep or take,’ ‘leave,’ ‘donate’ or ‘throw away’ categories
- Throw away or donate any unwanted items
- Label your boxes by room, area or category
- Pack the non-essential or rarely used items first and the rest a few days before the move
- Place all of your packed boxes into an easily- accessible area
If you’re moving to a university residence, there are certain items that will be provided, which simplifies your move. Generally, you will only need essential clothing and shoes, bedding and towels, hygiene products, a few books, a laptop and/or tablet, some kitchen utensils and dishes, school supplies and storage bins. Or, if you wish to live off-campus, choosing a place like 1Eleven, where the suites are furnished, will also minimize what you’re required to pack.
Create a Budget
Moving off-campus can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know how to budget your money. When you move into off-campus Ottawa student housing, you will need to pay for rent, groceries, utilities (if your apartment isn’t all-inclusive), household items, transit, additional housing fees and more. So, a budget is essential to successful financial management. A monthly budget might also be needed when you move into a dorm, as food, entertainment, laundry and transit can quickly become too expensive if you don’t budget well. For help, you could visit your school’s financial centre or download a budget app or software. Just ensure your budget includes all of your income and expenditures. Budgeting successfully can help you save money and more.
Ask for Help
No matter your age or experience, most people need help with the moving process. It’s stressful, time-consuming, labour-intensive and nearly impossible to do alone. The process is especially difficult when you’ve never moved on your own or if you’re moving to your first apartment. Friends and family who formerly attended university should be able to provide useful tips about dorm life and off-campus housing. Your parents and others can teach you how to shop for food wisely, budget wisely, pay bills and create healthy, inexpensive meals.
University services can also provide useful support. For example, you could find housing or roommates from the housing board, get financial support at the financial aid office, find a job on a job board and much more. Your friends and family can also help you with packing, moving and loading boxes, providing a moving van and moving your belongings to university or your new apartment.
Find a Roommate
Roommates can make university living more exciting and affordable. Plus, if you’re moving off-campus, you can choose your roommate(s). Sharing the rent and household expenses and duties can leave you more time and money to do what you like. It could also alleviate some of the stress of moving away from home or residence. Just remember to split the expenses and chores evenly and set some ground rules for cooking, cleaning, parties, guests and sharing common items or spaces.
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